In the past eight years there has been $12 billion of venture capital funding poured into construction technology, with nearly 4,000 startups in construction tech alone.
It’s a daunting world out there for companies who realize they must continue to innovate to keep up with the competition but at the same time are reluctant to embrace digital solutions and innovation. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get stakeholder buy-in within the organization. If you are the person tasked with assessing and introducing innovation into your company, you’ll need to encourage and build excitement among different stakeholders as the company looks to digitize.
In some cases, if you lack the authority, you may not ultimately be capable of enforcing changes. Therefore, it’s up to you to figure out how to get people to want to adopt new innovations. This is a time to put yourself in the shoes of the person who is reluctant or needs encouragement.
Understanding what different people in the company care about is the first step – comprehending a person’s mindset: they care about, what their incentives are. If it’s an executive, they may care about competition and which companies are winning more bids or more projects. They most likely are concerned about revenues and profits. A test case can give the company more control over how new technology gets implemented, and it can indicate whether increased revenues and profits can be expected from a full-scale rollout.
Taking motivations into consideration can help you decide how to address technology reluctance. For instance, project managers have their processes, and they don’t like those to be messed with. It’s important to align with them, give them some ownership and enable them to have a part in changes taking place. Influence in a company is based on both competence and caring. Building soft skills will not only help in the process of technology implementation, these skills can benefit a person’s overall career.
The second step to encouraging and building excitement is overcoming the negative experiences that have resulted in people’s reluctance. Perhaps something happened in their past that left them resistant to certain changes. If something they tried failed, it could result in a mistrust of technology. When a system you rely on goes down – for instance a server – the company can lose a day’s worth of productivity for an entire team (or even the whole company). Considering what that can cost in real dollars, no one who has gone through it wants to get burned again. Not only is it key to defend your implementation from failure, it’s important to explain to a reluctant team member how it will be safeguarded.
One way that barriers to technology adoption are being reduced is the emergence of solution platforms. A platform is a set of software solutions and their related resources that work together to change and improve workflows. Their interconnected nature makes implementation a company effort, with everyone sharing in the job of implementation, as well as the fundamental improvements.
Tune in to Bridging the Gap podcast episode 111 to hear more about getting stakeholder buy-in for technology innovation from Justin Saeheng.